Espreso. Global
Updated

Russian Red Cross employees may have abused Ukrainian POWs

27 February, 2024 Tuesday
16:40

Moscow allocates separate funding from the federal budget to support the Russian Red Cross, which has raised concerns regarding its conduct towards Ukrainian prisoners of war within Russian-controlled territories of Ukraine

Radio Liberty reported the information, citing Medusa.

According to a report by Medusa, as part of the international investigative project Kremlin Leaks, instances of mistreatment were highlighted, including the case of Orest Hrytsiuk, a Ukrainian POW held in a colony in Horlivka, Donetsk region, from October 2022 to April 2023.

Hrytsiuk recounted encounters with individuals purportedly representing the Red Cross during meal times, where derogatory remarks were made about Ukrainian prisoners. 

"They give you very little time to eat, and I hated myself for the way I ate... We were forced to eat very quickly, and very hot food. Everything was flying in all directions. And these two men in civilian clothes were walking between the tables, and one of them said: "Oh, how well they eat, like pigs, Ukrainian pigs. Well, eat, eat, Russia loves and cares about you."

He also described forced participation in singing Soviet military songs. 

"The man who called us pigs in the dining room took out his phone, filmed the marching prisoners of war, came up to them, shouted something in their ear and shook his fist above their heads, slapped them on the back and shoulders so that they swayed. He would direct the camera at himself and demonstrate a gesture of victory, just enjoying himself, it was a performance for him... These two had complete carte blanche to walk around the dining room, stay on the parade ground, order songs... they felt comfortable there, high," the former prisoner of war said.

Despite Hrytsiuk's testimony, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has refuted claims of their involvement, asserting that individuals identified as Red Cross representatives were not affiliated with them.

The ICRC representative in Ukraine, Achille Després, said that the ICRC has never said that the colony with Ukrainian prisoners was visited by employees of the Russian Red Cross. When asked who else could have come to the colony, introduced themselves as the Red Cross, spoken Russian and insulted Ukrainian prisoners of war, Després said he "does not know who these people are" and that he "has no reason to believe that the Russian Red Cross was involved."

Dmytro Lubinets, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, noted that UNICEF had ceased funding such programs. The ICRC reiterated its stance, emphasizing the absence of Russian Red Cross personnel in Ukrainian territories. Meanwhile, the authors of the investigation point out that the Russian Red Cross "prefers to keep silent about its work in the occupied Ukrainian territories - and perhaps even uses proxy organizations for this purpose." However, they also operate under the Red Cross brand, being called "Donetsk Red Cross" or "regional public organization ‘Red Cross Society in Luhansk People's Republic.’”

Ariane Bauer, representing the ICRC, affirmed ongoing discussions with Russian authorities regarding humanitarian efforts. Despite concerns about pro-Kremlin groups overshadowing ICRC's presence, Mirjana Spoljaric, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, expressed confidence in maintaining their humanitarian mission.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, comprising the ICRC and national societies worldwide, aims to provide aid in conflict zones. While the Russian Red Cross receives funding from the ICRC, it also relies on support from the Russian government, raising questions about its impartiality amid the war in Ukraine.

Tags:
Read also:
  • News
2024, Friday
19 April
21:50
Review
Victorious news of 786th day of war: Ukraine’s Air Force shoots down Russian Tu-22M3, German drone manufacturer opens factory in Ukraine
21:35
Russian army attacks Ukrainian positions in Kherson region 7 times with little success — General Staff
21:15
Kherson Art Museum identifies more than 100 paintings stolen by Russia
20:57
Exclusive
Putin will continue war until it becomes clear who is next in White House — political analyst
20:36
Exclusive
What parameters should F-16 have to effectively fight Russia: aviation expert explains
20:15
Ukrainian navy explains why Russian forces rarely use Kalibr missiles
19:49
Russia will not cease fire even if talks with Ukraine start - Lavrov
19:26
Exclusive
What could have shot down Russian Tu-22M bomber: military expert suggests
19:13
Updated
Poland detains Russian agent planning assassination attempt on Zelenskyy
19:05
Exclusive
"Ukraine has weapons to shoot down Russian aircraft": Air Force comments on Tu-22M3 downing
18:46
Updated
Slovaks raise €2 million for shells for Ukraine as government fails to back Czech initiative
18:45
G7 pledges to strengthen Ukraine's air defense
18:25
G7 defines specific steps to help Ukraine, says FM Kuleba
18:00
Review
General election in India: Relations with Ukraine and why role of Asian player shouldn't be underestimated
17:40
20 Days in Mariupol team brings Oscar to Ukraine
17:19
OPINION
War will end when world understands its causes and consequences - Ukrainian diplomat
16:57
Ukraine returns 17-year-old girl deported to Russia
16:35
Exclusive
Ukrainian resistance in occupied territories helps army
16:13
Exclusive
Russian army redeploys aviation to Bakhmut sector, Ukrainian forces lack air defenses
15:50
Russia attacks Bilopillya in Sumy region, severely injuring three people
15:30
Ukraine's top diplomat discusses strengthening of air defense with Italian counterpart
15:08
Russia cancels Victory Day parade in Crimea on May 9
14:48
Ukraine needs deeply echeloned air defense system - Ukrainian Air Force
14:27
Updated
Russia attacks Ukraine, killing and injuring civilians in Dnipro and region, including children
13:58
OPINION
Everything is to be decided in Europe and by Europe
13:38
"Situation is critical": Poland's PM says coming weeks could decide fate of war in Ukraine
13:18
Both U.S. congressional parties back bill to aid Ukraine — Ukraine’s PM following meetings with US officials
12:58
Review
Ukraine's dependence on US assistance. Technological solutions and frontline update. Serhiy Zgurets's column
12:38
Explosions heard in occupied Mariupol, Russian military base hit - Advisor to Mariupol Mayor
12:17
Ukrainian photojournalist Yulia Kochetova among winners of World Press Photo-2024 Global Stage
11:57
Ukraine downs Tu-22M3 aircraft in Russia used to launch Kh-22/Kh-32 missiles at Ukraine
11:35
Russians raid and mobilize Muslims in Crimea during Eid al-Fitr holiday
11:15
Russia steps up mobilization ahead of possible summer offensive: ISW names problems that Russia may face
10:55
Air defense systems belong in cities under attack, not warehouses - Zelenskyy on massive Russian attack on Dnipro
10:35
Russia loses 870 soldiers, 9 tanks and 21 artillery systems in one day in Ukraine - General Staff
09:55
"We have no plan B": Ukraine's Foreign Minister comments on expectations from US Congress vote
2024, Thursday
18 April
21:59
Review
Victorious news of 785th day of war: Ukraine has drones able to hit targets in Siberia, Germany will supply more air defense systems
21:38
97% of Russian attacks target civilian infrastructure - Ukraine in OSCE
21:18
Ukraine may get seven more Patriot systems from Germany and partners - Scholz
21:00
Ukraine develops drones capable of 3,000 kilometers range, reaching Siberia — The Economist
More news